11 NOVEMBER 1899, Page 22



[Coder this bwiiing we notice such Books of the week as have not beere reserved for review in other forms.] Selected Poems: Old and New. By Annie Matheson. (H. Frowde. 2s. Gd.)—Miss Matheson has, we believe, found a sufficient audience for her utterances, no small achievement when there are so many singers seeking to gain the public ear. No one who studies this volume, giving, as it does, what the author submits to the world as a typical expression of her thought, will wonder. It is really good work ; it is real ; it is, if we may say so, life experience put into an adequate literary form. It is not indeed such as will captivate the "man in the street," if we may use the phrase in this context ; the reader must bring some kindred thought and feeling, and he will find that these poems often... give them a powerful expression. This is a great gift, though itliV is not the greatest. The poet should be able to compel the un- willing, to touch the hard and unprepared heart, as well as that which is ready to assimilate his thought. Here Miss Matheson will fail. But as there are many who have already recognised her power to express some of their best thought and feeling, so there will be many more who will gladly add her book to the list of those which they find helpful and in harmony with what is best in them. Here is a specimen of her work :—

"They saw not God, though He was on their side 'Lord, Lord,' they said not ; yet they served Him well,

For He is Truth, and their whole lives will tell How they have toiled for truth till eventide.

Now that He calls them home at set of min.

And they are sad because they dreamed they might Have done more perfect work before the night, ' They hear with sweet amaze the words Well done.'

And He who knows how hard it was to wait, Nor hear Him call them through the long day's strife, Blind to His presence, yet of blameless life, . Himself unbars for them the vineyard gate.

At last the Master is to them revealed : He knows they asked not any sordid hire,

And gives as guerdon what they most deeire, In the new life to toil in His new field.

Ali I some there be who held them once accursed,

Cry, • Lord, we bore the burden of the day— Shall we receive no higher wage than they ? ' Eat He makes answer, Lo, the last are first."